United Airlines increases fares

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NEW YORK (AP) -- United Airlines says it boosted its ticket prices by as much as much as $50 round-trip, raising the stakes in the airline industry's battle against rapidly rising fuel costs.

Spokeswoman Robin Urbanski says that the broad-based domestic increases, which went into effect late Thursday, are based on the length of the flight, meaning that trips of under 500 miles will cost travelers four dollars to ten dollars more round-trip. Journeys of more than 15-hundred miles are now 12 dollars to 50
dollars more expensive than before the increase.

The move comes just a week after the Chicago-based carrier, the second-largest U-S airline, raised its domestic fuel surcharge by an additional six dollars to ten dollars per round trip, effectively raising fares. Urbanski says that United's fuel surcharge now stands at 50 dollars round-trip in markets where the
airline does not compete against low-cost carriers.

As the price of oil has risen, carriers have tried to push more of their fuel costs onto consumers. Some of those increases have stuck, but stiff competition from low-cost airlines such as Southwest Airlines and JetBlue Airways means many others have been rolled back after competing airlines failed to follow suit.

Spokeswoman Chris Kelly says that Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines has taken NO action at this time.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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